Amendment made by the State on the Divorce under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955

(ii) For clause (viii) (since repealed) substituted and be deemed always to have been so substituted.

“(viii) Has not resumed cohabitation after the passing of a decree for judicial separation against that party, and —

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(a) A period of two years has elapsed since the passing of such decree, or

(b) The case is one of exceptional hardship to the petitioner or of exceptional depravity on the part of other party; or.”

13-A. Alternate Relief in Divorce Proceedings:

In any proceeding under this Act, on a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce, except in so far as the petition is founded on the grounds mentioned in clauses (ii), (vi) and (vii) of sub­section (1) of section 13, the Court may, if it considers it just so to do having regard to the circumstances of the case, pass instead a decree for judicial separation.

13-B. Divorce by Mutual Consent:

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a petition for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be presented to the district court by both the parties to a marriage together, whether such marriage was solemnized before or after the commencement of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976, on the ground that they have been living separately for a period of one year or more, that they have not been able to live together and that they have mutually agreed that the marriage should be dissolved.

(2) On the motion of both the parties made not earlier than six months after the date of the presentation of the petition referred to in sub-section (1) and not later than eighteen months after the said date, if the petition is not withdrawn in the meantime, the court shall, on being satisfied, after hearing the parties and after making such inquiry as it thinks fit, that a marriage has been solemnized and that the averments in the petition are true, pass a decree of divorce declaring the marriage to be dissolved with effect from the date of the decree.

13-C. Divorce on the Ground of Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage:

(1) A petition for the dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce may be presented to the district court by either party to a marriage, [whether solemnised before or after the commence­ment of the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Act, 1981] on the ground that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

(2) The court hearing such a petition shall not hold the marriage to have broken down irretrievably unless it is satisfied that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of not less than three years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.

(3) If the Court is satisfied, on the evidence, as to the fact mentioned in sub-section (2) then, unless it is satisfied on all the evidence that the marriage has not broken down irretrievably, it shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, grant a decree of divorce.

(4) In considering, for the purpose of sub-section (2), whether the period for which the parties to a marriage have lived apart has been continuous, no account shall be taken of any one period (not exceeding three months in all) during which the parties resumed living with each other, but no other period during which the parties lived with each other shall count as part of the period for which the parties to the marriage lived apart.

(5) For the purpose of sub-sections (2) and (4) a husband and wife shall be treated as living apart unless they are living with each other in the same household, and reference in this section to the parties to a marriage living with each other shall be construed as reference to their living with each other in the same household.

13-D. Wife’s Right to Oppose the Petition on the Ground of Hardship:

(1) Where the wife is the respondent to a petition for the dissolution of a marriage by a decree of divorce under Section 13-C, she may oppose the grant of a decree on the ground that the dissolution of the marriage will result in grave financial hardship to her and that it would in all the circumstances be wrong to dissolve the marriage.

(2) Where the grant of a decree is opposed by virtue of this section then,—

(a) If the Court finds that the petitioner is entitled to rely on the ground set out in Section 13-C; and

(b) If apart from this section the court would grant a decree on the petition,

The court shall consider all the circumstances, including the conduct of the parties to the marriage and the interests of those parties and of any children or other persons concerned, and if, the court is of opinion that the dissolution of the marriage shall result in grave financial hardship to the respondent and that it would in all the circumstances be wrong to dissolve the marriage it shall dismiss the petition, or in an appropriate case stay the proceedings until arrangements have been made to its satisfaction to eliminate the hardship.

13-E. Restriction on Decree for Divorce Affecting Children:

The court shall not pass a decree of divorce under Section 13-C unless the court is satisfied that adequate provision for the maintenance of children born out of the marriage has been made consistently with the financial capacity of the parties to the marriage.

Explanation:

In this section, the expression “children” means,—

(a) Minor children;

(b) Unmarried or widowed daughters who have not the financial resources to support themselves; and

(c) Children who, because of special condition of their physical or mental health, need looking after and have not the financial resources to support themselves].

[Sections 13-C to 13-E introduced in Lok Sabha on 27-2-1981 by the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 1981 but subsequently it was not passed].

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